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Can you afford to have a baby?

Aug 17 2017 16:22

Cape Town - Can you afford to have a baby?

Marlise Kotze, financial planner at Alexander Forbes Retail, looks at some potential financial implications to consider:

Pregnancy phase

Make sure you join a medical aid before you fall pregnant, otherwise they might exclude the pregnancy.

Are you a member of a medical aid? What benefits are available for pregnancy on your specific option plan?
 
Remember that you will be visiting your doctor or gynaecologist frequently for check-ups. They normally see you every six weeks, with more frequent visits towards the end. What do they charge per visit?
 
If you are expecting twins, or if your pregnancy is more difficult, you might have to spend time in bed weeks before the actual due date. It means that you will have to start your leave earlier than expected.

Can you carry your expenses for a month or two before your maternity benefits kick in? Set aside some savings for this.

You might suffer from nausea during the first trimester of the pregnancy. This could severely affect productivity at work. Build up extra leave days if possible.

READ: R1m bill: No one left to deliver our babies?

Your doctor will inform you if you have a high risk of having a baby with Down Syndrome. If you are in a high risk category, you would be given the option to conduct further tests for Down Syndrome.

Do you want to keep the baby? If you do, can you afford it? This is a very controversial issue. Discuss this with you partner even before you fall pregnant.
 
And the baby would need a room, a cot, clothes, bottles, nappies and toys. Stick to the basics. If you are a first timer, you should never shop alone. There are thousands of products out there, and you wouldn’t know what is really needed. That is why a baby shower is so useful.
 
Babies grow very quickly, so remember to buy those bigger sizes as well.

There are plenty of second hand baby shops. You don’t have to buy your cot or pram brand new.
 
Hospital/birth phase

You have to add your new born to your medical aid immediately. Budget for this increase in medical aid contribution.

Register the baby at home affairs within 30 days. This is free, but you can make use of a third party to go and do this for you. In that way you don’t have to stand in a queue with your new born.

Some of the private hospitals will offer this service for free.
 
Find out from you gynaecologist if he or she will charge medical aid rates for a birth or planned C-section. If they charge more, how will you pay the difference?

With a C-section you will also have to pay for the anaesthesiologist, paediatrician and physiotherapist. What is their fee? Does you medical aid cover it? Or will it be paid from your own savings?
 
Maternity leave phase

How many months of maternity leave are you entitled to?

Would you get paid your full salary during your maternity leave?

Will you have to train someone to stand in for you?

Would you have to pay back any maternity benefits if you resigned?

Remember to claim your UIF. Check with your human resources department what the company policy is and what you qualify for.

Now is the perfect time to draft your last will and testament.

It will give you the opportunity to specify guardians for your child in the event of both parents passing away.

You will also be able to set up a trust for your child where all the assets can be kept until he or she is big enough.

It is also a good time to review your life cover benefits. Will there be enough capital available to take care of your child for the rest of his or her life, should you pass away?

Returning to work

You will have to find someone to look after your baby during the day. Will he or she go to crèche or day care? Or will you get a nanny?

Set up an education policy as soon as possible, even if it is just a small monthly amount. You want to give your baby the best you can.

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alexander forbes  |  baby  |  money  |  debt  |  savings

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